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Sell Your Home Privately Common Sense Tips

May 9, 2008
You may have heard of friends who have sold their home through a real agent and found it odd. While the highest percentages of sales of homes are through real estate agents again you may wonder. After all it's still said to be a seller's market in many areas of the country. Low interest rates have fueled a frenzy of buyers - all fighting for a small number of houses. If your home is so desirable to buyers why cannot you just sell it yourself and pocket the commission - or at the least split it with the buyer so that you both benefit - you with more cash in your pocket , them with a lower house price. So the question becomes - why not sell your house yourself, and if it so easy then why do so few do it?

The simple answers to the questions are that it is not as easy as you might think to sell your house by yourself. In addition to many people it is a daunting, intimidating task to which they are gladly willing to pay someone else to do it. On the other hand it's a fair percentage of your biggest asset in your account. Not only that but most likely the value of your home has appreciated substantially in the last number of years - while you're other assets and investments have not.

In order to set the stage to sell your house promptly there are a number of planning and marketing steps and procedures to involve. It's a matter of preparation. Although it may seem to you that people are house shopping throughout the year often buying is fueled at peak times. A primary market for houses is for families. Kids have to go to school. In most cases parents either do not want to disrupt their kid's school year in mid stream, or at the worst have to drive the kids back across town to the old school for a portion of the year. Thus the two big times for home sales are spring and fall-as the school year ends and before the fall start of the next school year. Much of other home purchases results from the initial sales of the owners of the first group of houses. So the major home sales portion of the year is more limited than you might think. Add to that climate concerns for the evaluation of foundations and yards and the fact that many people just do not want to involve house sales and purchases at certain times of the year - the Christmas time period for example - and you will come to the conclusion that adequate preparation of your home for sale for those peak time periods is essential for a quick, prompt sale and good sale price.

First of all you have to price your home properly and competitively. One of major problems of private sales is a lack of realism on the part of private home sellers. It's not hard to understand why. Its simple human nature. Its not that the private home seller intends to be unrealistic. Frequently what happens is the grapevine reports that schmendrick down the street got X + 150,000 $. The homeowner reckons that if that sale resulted in a given price ,and of course his property is in much better condition and of course in a more desirable location and better layout then a fair price then he or she should get that amount + an additional amount ( of the homeowner's choice). The problem with the equation is that homeowner seller number one may only get a much smaller amount (even without the non-existent adds on of $ 150,000). The simple answer to this problem is to have your house professionally appraised by a home appraiser. If you are still not sure you can always pay for a second estimate. Either way you will be still far ahead of the game. Some people have used actual real estate published data, information from their local city, or even asked real estate professional for their input and expertise as well.

Secondly act as if you were a professional real estate agent selling your home. Make it the most presentable you can. First impressions are everything no matter what people will say. Have the house cleaned - Bristol Ship Shape Clean. Have the yard cleaned up and most presentable. Have those minor repairs around the house that you have been meaning to do - complete. Make sure that it is widely known that your house is for sale. Make sure that the phone number or email is correct and is answered promptly. At the worst if you or your spouse work most of the day - either have an answering machine, a cell phone or both. Accessibility on the spot is most important. Be prepared to show your home promptly within a reasonable time frame and times of day acceptable to both you and potential buyers.

Lastly more than one home owner has had second thoughts at the time of sale. A deal is a deal. You are expected to honor any commitments you make. Ensure that you have the legal documents available to close the home sale promptly. This involves having at least two copies of the sales contract available. One for your records, the other for the purchaser. Finally remember that a deal is a deal. A contract is a contract. Always honor your word and your signed contracts.
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